Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Senate health care reform plan to New York: Drop Dead. 

With a Democratic Senate like this, does one of the bluest of all blue states need enemies?
Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other NY pols: Health care bill is prescription for disaster

The Senate health reform bill is packed with lumps of coal for New York's Christmas stocking.

Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials warned the Senate plan would:

- Force the city to close 100 health clinics.

- Blow a $1 billion hole in the state's budget.

- Threaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities.

"It is really a disgrace and we've got to make sure that we fight before the bill is finally passed," Bloomberg fumed.

New York ended up on the short end as Senate brokers showered cash on states whose senators were among the last holdouts before Democratic leaders locked up the 60 needed votes.

New York's best hope now is emergency surgery to undo the shafting before the bill becomes final...

One of the biggest whacks the state faces is a $5.5 billion cut over 10 years in federal help taking care of sick people who can't pay.

Bloomberg believes that part of the Senate bill would cost the city $540 million.

"It would require us to close all of the 100 health clinics and a bunch of the ambulatory care things that we provide, overnight, cause the money would disappear," he said.... [NY Daily News]
Maybe New York's senators should learn a lesson from Mary Landreau and Ben Nelson about the value of being a holdout, instead of a loyalist to the cause. (Are you listening, Chuck?)

It's not like having the power of the marginal vote has never been demonstrated in New York before -- or like this blog failed to predict that senators were positioning themselves to exploit it during health reform negotiations. Only not our senators, it turns out. But it's exploit or be exploited in this game.

The story is not done with the Obamacare legislation. New York is not the only state in this situation. There are conflicts yet to come.